In the September-October print issue of Surgical Products, our cover story focused on technology and patient care solutions driving Hybrid OR integration. Continuing this week, SP is running standalone Q&As from interviews related to our cover story. Today we feature Evan Krachman, Sony Electronics, Medical Systems Division. Here are Krachman’s responses:
Surgical Products: What do you feel are the greatest advantages of investing in hybrid OR capabilities and equipment? Why?
Krachman: From a Sony perspective, were focused on imaging technologies that can improve workflow. We produce an OLED monitor that could easily switch between HD video for laparoscopic procedures or content that requires a superior black level like an ultrasound image. This opens up the possibility to utilize maybe one less monitor in the OR, reducing costs and saving valuable space on the boom arms.
SP: Is used/refurbished equipment an option, in your opinion?
Krachman: I think utilizing refurbished equipment may be a viable alternative but it really depends on the type of equipment. If it’s an imaging capture system and the refurbished unit has a new hard drive, I believe it would be ok. If you’re thinking about a monitor, make sure the light source has been replaced and the unit has been re-calibrated. I think most hospitals would rather purchase a new monitor with a full manufacturer’s warranty before choosing a refurbished unit.
SP: If cost and logistics were not an issue, what should be the first piece of equipment or technology that is embedded into every OR?
Krachman: My first investment would be in the network infrastructure of the hospital. This would be a key to being able to take advantage of new technologies in the OR and the entire hospital campus. In fact one of my dream technologies will slowly become a standard in the OR and that’s enabling each piece of equipment to incorporate a connection to the network. There are a few manufacturers starting to offer this feature. The traditional wall of knowledge in the OR displays a room camera, laparoscopic camera, some vital signs and an X-ray, for example. Now take those sources and add key pieces of medical patient data. This information could be distributed to an application and viewed right in the palm of your hand using a smart phone or tablet.
There are quite a few benefits to this technology, the first being, having a snap shot of all the important vitals, surgical video along with just about anything else you want to view. Imagine being able to get this detailed information on demand speeding the delivery of information. Check to see if an OR is ready for your next patient, or maybe join a Telemedicine consultation during surgery while you’re in the office between patients. Right now traditional hospital IT systems are not ready for this and a substantial investment in the network is needed.
SP: Looking forward, what factor, whether it’s financial, patient-centric or other, do you feel will play the biggest role in shaping hybrid OR development and implementation?
Krachman: Besides the investment in the network, I think it’s important to deliver systems that can communicate with each other. In Sony’s view point, we work hard to enable our monitors, imaging capture, storage systems and printers to communicate seamlessly with all the other surgical manufacturer’s systems. Providing open system architecture allows the hospital to make a choice in system components instead of being locked into something that may not fit the needs of the hospital.